2245 Tasting Notes
Tonight’s random tea sample courtesy of LiberTEAS :D
I selected this sample tonight by the laborious method of sticking my hand into the sample box and grabbing a pouch. I actually had to do this twice, because I told myself ‘no blacks’, and of course the first one I grabbed was some coconutty black of some sort. So here we are! A straight green sounded lovely for tonight.
No appreciable smells either dry or steeped.
Interesting – this is not what I was expecting. The tea is sweet and maybe a little nutty, but not at all vegetal. I guess I’ve become so accustomed to that flavour that it surprises me when it isn’t present. There’s a bit of green tea aftertaste, but it’s very subtle. I’m thinking I should have gone with a three minute infusion after all. For some reason I feel like I’m catching a bit of flavour that makes me think “stale”, but it may just be that I’m associating a certain flavour I’m tasting with something I tasted in another, older tea and attributed to staleness.
I’ll have to see how this one fares on a second infusion, but although it’s pleasant and nicely astringency-free, I don’t think it’s quite my sort of green tea – boiled veggie/seaweedy/grassy flavours seem to be more up my alley.
ETA: Second infusion, 175F/3min, is rather bleh. Some astringency, and similar flavours to the last cup. Still a nice aftertaste though.
It occurred to me tonight that for whatever reason (ok, it’s because I have too much tea), I hadn’t yet made it through all my samples from Teavivre! So since I was craving oolong (and dessert), it seemed like a perfect tea to try. I used the whole, sticky package in my tiny glass teapot.
First infusion (~boiling/1:15)
Honey-sweet, with a lovely round, sweet oolong aftertaste. There’s just a hint of astringency coming through at the end – glad I didn’t steep it any longer. The sweetness is reminiscent of the honey flavour I got with Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver). I’m really enjoying this infusion! It is perhaps a touch on the light side, but that’s ok.
Second infusion (~boiling/2 min):
Definitely moving into a woody flavour here. Perhaps that’s the astringency – I hadn’t meant to steep it this long but was trying to multitask. The sweetness is gone, but I didn’t expect it to last for a second infusion. Aftertaste is lightly oolong. This isn’t bad, but it’s not what I was expecting.
I’m a bit disappointed – after the amazing first cup, I was expecting something a little better for the second. I do have another package of this one, so perhaps will try some different parameters – perhaps a shorter first infusion and similarly short second infusion would help. I can’t recall what the price is, but it’s hard for me to justify purchasing an oolong that really is only capable of one amazing infusion. Even though it really was so very delicious…
Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!
ETA: I just finished off the last of my second infusion, and feel like I need to revise my previous opinion, as I wonder if my tastebuds were tainted by either the first infusion or the chocolate bar I ate… the last sip was actually quite good! Yes, there was astringency, but chalk that one up to my error. I got a lovely honey oolong aftertaste, and aside from the astringency, it was actually quite nice. I still think it might be a bit pricey of a tea, but I may actually try a third infusion now. Also bumping the rating.
ETA again: Third infusion, boiling-ish water for about 1:45, is kind of woody/dark/nutty, as late steepings of oolongs tend to be for me. Not bad, and still that oolong aftertaste. Overall, I’d have to say that this is a perfectly fine oolong, but not one for me.
Cold-brewed the rest of my sample and confirmed that this tea definitely needs to be part of my iced tea collection for the summer if at all possible. The cherry tartness is so well-balanced by the other fruity flavours and like with Tropicalia, there’s nothing weird going on, so if artificial flavours were involved, they were cleverly done (and as long as I can’t taste artificial-ness, I don’t really care). Not as sweet as Tropicalia (but I think I used too much tea with that one, definitely making it a “juice tea”, in the words of Indigobloom.)
Thanks again Amanda for introducing me to this tea :)
Um… cold-brewed Tropicalia? Seriously the best iced tea ever! This is AMAZING! It’s sweet, a little creamy, oh so fruity/pineappley, and there are no strange flavours whatsoever. Between this, Luscious Watermelon, Blazing Strawberries, and hopefully Mahamosa Cherry Kiwi Coconut Fruit, I should be set for the summer! (Also Lime Gelato, Bear Trap, Goji Pop…. yeah I have plenty of choices now!)
Gotta say, DavidsTea would be foolish not to keep this one available permanently, year-round…
I’m so glad this one’s on the website now! The last (first, only) time I drank it, I liked it enough that the next time I went into the store, I was going to buy 50g of it….. but they had sold out that morning (and since it was seasonal, that was the end). This was in about February, so it had already been around for a while.
Anyhow, now I get to try this one iced and all sorts of ways! I cold-steeped a huge amount of tea in not much water last night, as it’s quite light, or so I’m told. Something like 7tsp?? in a couple cups of water.
Ok, totally worth it. Light strawberry flavour with a refreshing bamboo leaf base. Not getting the spicy notes; perhaps they need warm water to emerge? And in spite of the huge amount of leaf, it’s definitely very light, but tasty and refreshing. Pretty sure it’s going on the list to buy off the website, along with Dulce & Banana. Yum.
The last iced tea for today that finishes off a package.
Although pear-y, this one was too tart and strange hot. Not a big fan. Unfortunately, it still misses the mark iced. I did use an appropriate amount of tea:water, so the flavour’s strong, I’m just finding something a touch off with the flavour. The aftertaste is creamy, vanilla-y, pear-y and lovely, and I can even handle the tartness (although it throws me a bit), but they just don’t combine well for me. That said, it’s way better iced, and is growing on me as I get through the cup, but I won’t be purchasing anymore of this one. If the tartness could only be reduced somewhat, I think it would be lovely as the aftertaste is just perfect…
This is another one now gone from the cupboard. A little sad, a little not. I do still have nearly 50g of Cherry Blossom left (probably about 43g), so that will have to curb my cherry cravings. Again, it was ok hot, but nothing special, and the white tea price is/was a big negative.
The liquor is a lovely amber colour. Hoping it’s not too weak like the last one; it was the same water:leaf ratio (250mL, ~1.5tsp). It smells a bit like sour acerola cherry, which is tasty.
Ok, this one’s definitely tastier iced. Loving the cherry tartness – I would so much rather have sour cherries in blends instead of hibiscus! Again, it could stand to be stronger, but that’s my fault. Like with the Mango Madness, there’s a touch of bitterness that I’m not fond of. I’m sure a bit of sugar would cut it nicely, but I really don’t want to be doing that. I’m going to attribute it to the white tea, and therefore continue the search for a herbal cherry tea to ice (well, if Mahamosa Cherry Kiwi Coconut Fruit becomes available, that will be the one, I think! Darn, should have iced the remnants of my sample last night alongside.)
If this one’s on the tea wall still (can’t recall) and I don’t locate another sufficiently cherry-flavoured tea to ice, I might pick up some more, but only because that flavour is really fabulous for iced tea IMO. Upping the rating based on the iced version :)